Tell us about the time you rescued someone else (person or animal) from a dangerous situation. What happened? How did you prevail?
Heather had the voice of an angel. She was only 15, and her talent was already blooming into full beauty. Everyone in the church looked forward to hearing her clear, sweet voice.
Mrs. Jakes was Heather’s Sunday school teacher, and they had become good friends. Mrs. Jakes did her best to encourage all the girls in her class, and took them under her wing outside the classroom as well. They knew they could count on her support.
There were a couple of middle-aged men who had started attending the church. Mrs. Jakes had pretty good radar, and her instinct was strong that there was just something off about these men. As the weeks went by, she began to notice that one of the men seemed particularly taken with Heather. He always seemed to be in the vicinity wherever Heather happened to be, and Mrs. Jakes watched that situation with a careful eye. She didn’t want to create a problem that didn’t exist, but she was very uncomfortable about those men.
One Sunday evening after the service, Mrs. Jakes noticed that the man had finally approached Heather openly for the first time. She slowly made her way through groups of people as they milled around in the auditorium and the lobby, always keeping her eye on Heather and the man. He was talking eagerly, earnestly with Heather, stepping closer to her every few minutes.
Mrs. Jakes finally was able to reach them, and she stepped up beside Heather. She extended her hand to the man, introducing herself and asking his name. He mumbled something and quickly turned away, disappearing into the crowd.
“Heather, there’s something I just don’t like about that guy. Did he say anything to you that made you uneasy?”
“Well, kind of. I mean, he just went on and on about my voice, and how beautiful I am, and how he’d like to have a girl like me for his daughter. I thought it was kind of weird, ’cause I don’t even know him. Yeah, he kind of creeped me out.”
“Okay, Heather, here’s what I want you to do. Never let him get you apart from other people, okay? Always make sure you’re with someone in your family, or with friends. And if he really bothers you, tell him you don’t feel comfortable and that you need to leave now. Okay? I’m not trying to scare you, but I want you to be aware and careful.”
“Yes, sure, okay, Mrs. Jakes. Both those guys kind of give me the creeps, you know? I mean, they’re old, but that one keeps trying to talk to me as if we’re, like, the same age or something.”
The following Sunday night, Heather found Mrs. Jakes after the service was over. She was out of breath and very flustered. “Mrs. Jakes, everywhere I GO that guy is there! He keeps following me! He even tried to take my arm because he wanted to ‘talk with me alone’ and I said no, I didn’t have time. Now I’m really scared! What should I do? See him? He’s standing back there watching me!”
Mrs. Jakes looked, and indeed he was. It was unnerving. His eyes followed every move Heather made. Mrs. Jakes decided it was time for some action.
“Come on, Heather. Let’s go find your dad. You stay right with me!”
It didn’t take long to find Heather’s dad. Mrs. Jakes explained the situation to him, expressing her concern that the man’s interest in Heather was beyond normal, and needed to be addressed. Heather’s dad listened, his eyes showing his concern. “Don’t worry about another thing. Thanks for letting me know about this. I’ll take care of it.”
Mrs. Jakes felt there was nothing more she could or should do, so she left Heather in her dad’s care and went home.
Later than evening, her phone rang. It was Heather, sounding nervous but relieved. “So, my dad went up to that guy and told him to leave me alone. Dad said he didn’t want to be unkind, but he felt uncomfortable with the attention the guy was giving me, and he wanted it to stop. He was really great. He didn’t get mad or anything, he just was really strong.”
“Heather, thanks for calling to let me know. Did the guy say anything to your dad?”
“No, he just stood there looking embarrassed, and he turned and walked away before my dad was really finished.”
The men did not reappear at the services, but Mrs. Jakes learned later that they had been attending another church nearby and had been asked to leave over a similar situation. No one ever seemed to find out what the men’s names were, where they lived, or anything else about them. They never did anything overtly out of line or criminal that Mrs. Jakes ever heard about. Still, the gut reaction she had to them and they way one of them seemed fixated on Heather made her very glad that she had involved Heather’s dad.